Bitcoin is a booming industry in Africa; a lot of startups and other digital currency business are growing exponentially. The digital currency ecosystem has found many followers in Africa and this week the continent’s first Bitcoin conference is taking place in Cape Town, South Africa.
This first quarter of 2015 the Bitcoin industry has grown as never before. A record amount of venture capital has been placed into the digital currency on a global scale. The US$299 million invested takes the all-time total Bitcoin startup funding to US$676 million.
Reports indicate The first quarter of this year saw a record-breaking amount of venture capital, namely about US$676 million were invested in Bitcoin startups, and digital currency related projects, with Coinbase and 21 other companies leading the investments.
This represents a significant 51% increase compared to the same period in 2014, matching a wide number of countries that received VC investment in Bitcoin growing from 18 to 22. In Africa, Kenya was one of the four new countries after BitPesa who became the first Bitcoin startup based in Africa to receive VC funding.
BitPesa, one of the companies operating in Ghana, plans to launch in Tanzania and Uganda. BitPesa already raised about US$1.1 million from investors like Pantera Capital Management, Crypto Currency Partners, Stephens Investment Management and existing shareholders such as the Bitcoin Opportunity Corporation and Future/Perfect Ventures. BitPesa forecasts there will be a total of 12 million Bitcoin wallets by the end of 2015 in Africa.
Although the price has been dipping, the ecosystem has shown strong resilience and robust growth in the first quarter of this year. The rate of growth in the number of merchants starting to accept Bitcoin continued to increase; however, consumer adoption is not following this growth. Africa remains one of the continents to have a larger consumer adoption because the lack of financial institutions in the continent had the perfect “financial landscape” for startups to leapfrog this need presenting Bitcoin has a solution to this problem.
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